Teddy Sagi sells Playtech shares to focus on London offices

Founder cuts stake as he looks to focus on ‘co-working revolution’

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Teddy Sagi, the billionaire founder of gambling software company Playtech and its biggest shareholder, has sold a further 4 per cent of his stake as he focuses on investing in the shared offices in London.

The holding was sold to Boussard & Gavaudan Investment Management, a French firm that Playtech said had made “a direct and unsolicited inbound enquiry”.

Mr Sagi said he sold the shares at 873p, a 4 per cent discount to the closing price on Tuesday of 909p, and raised about £113m. He will keep an 18 per cent interest in Playtech.

He said that while “Playtech is a company which I believe will continue to achieve significant growth over the coming years”, he wanted “to further develop my London property portfolio and be at the vanguard of the co-working revolution”.

Mr Sagi added that he envisaged “taking some of the capital’s most iconic properties and establishing creative hubs where start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs can work, network and grow together”.

The shared office market in London is booming, as both large and small companies are drawn to the flexibility they offer.

When Mr Sagi sold 12 per cent of the company in November, he agreed not to sell any more Playtech stock for six months, subject to the consent of investment bank UBS and “customary exceptions”. Playtech said Mr Sagi “has been released with the consent of UBS” from the agreement, so that Boussard could make its purchase.

Mr Sagi and Boussard have agreed not to sell any shares in Playtech as part of a
“lock-up” agreement that ends on May 29.

Mr Sagi’s transactions were carried out via Brickington Trading, a subsidiary of a trust of which Mr Sagi is the sole beneficiary.

Playtech has a market capitalisation of £2.8bn and the shares slipped 1.3 per cent to 896p on Wednesday afternoon.

In February, the company announced a 32 per cent rise in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation on a constant currency basis to €302.2m. It also said it planned to continue its buying spree. That month it bought Australian bingo software group Eyecon for £50m, and last year it snapped up rival operator Best Gaming Technology for €138m.

The company supplies software to online gaming and gambling companies and counts Paddy Power Betfair, William Hill, and Betfred among its clients.

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